Dynasty-Fantasy Analysis: 2020 Season AFC Divisional Playoff – Chiefs 22, Browns 17
*Just like our in-regular-season coverage, we’ll be analyzing all of the playoff games for Dynasty/Fantasy purposes…with an eye on 2021 valuation changes, etc. During this time, I’m watching the tape and writing up an analysis on NFL Draft prospect scouting studies and prepping/studying for the Senior Bowl (still on for now) – so, I’m typing out my thoughts/notes quickly and not hardcore editing. Forgive any typos/grammar, etc.
Here’s the way you are supposed to analyze this…
-Yayyy for the Browns for putting up a valiant effort! Team of the future that wasn’t ready for this moment yet.
-KC deserved to win and this was only close because Mahomes went down, but he should be fine as they storm into the AFC Finals…where they will bounce the Bills if Mahomes is ready to play.
I’m not sure I agree with any of that, but
I look at this game and see that Mahomes outplayed Mayfield. Darrell Williams outplayed Nick Chubb. And the KC WRs and TEs outplayed the Browns WRs and TEs. The Browns O-Line wasn’t as dominant as advertised and the Browns defense didn’t play over their heads enough to win.
The Browns weren’t totally outclassed…just they aren’t good enough at any spot over KC, except apparently Harrison Butker is a problem now at kicker. It remains to be seen if the Browns are legit for the future, or if this season was a blip. The lack of ability to attract free agents is still an issue going forward. They need a great draft or two or three to get over fully.
Kansas City was sloppy, once again (a running theme all season) -- taking for granted they could punch the accelerator whenever they wanted. Credit to them that they got serious when Mahomes went down and tightened up in all phases. What makes KC dangerous is – they do have another gear to hit, almost at will, when needed. What makes KC likely to lose to Buffalo is…the Bills aren’t the Browns or the Raiders or any other flop team KC muddles by playing half-arsed games – if the Chiefs get down to Buffalo, they may not be able to hit a switch against them. And Buffalo has similar/better switches they can hit as well.
I like Sean McDermott to out-coach Andy Reid for the win.
Speaking of coaching, it looks like Eric Bieniemy might not get a head coaching job…despite interviewing everywhere. The media is already whining about it…and flinging around racial reasoning disappointment. Why can’t there be an obvious reason for Bieniemy not getting hired for two years and with 10+ interviews, DESPITE the media trumpeting him at every turn…and despite the compensation and goodwill for minority hirings in the NFL? As I’ve been saying for two years now – Bieniemy is not a great head coaching candidate, and probably reveals that in interviews. What team is averse to hiring any color of head coach in the year 2021? What if it is that Bieniemy is just not head coaching, face of the franchise material. Just because you smelled Patrick Mahomes’s farts and let Andy Reid call a game through you…doesn’t make you the perfect CEO of a billion-dollar business.
Andy Reid’s coaching tree going through dry rot isn’t helping him either – anyone love what Matt Nagy and Doug Pederson are doing these days? Bieniemy is Matt Nagy, only with more football clichés to espouse in press conferences.
Bieniemy may get a lifeline with the Houston v. Watson events happening. They may HAVE to hire Bieniemy for the sake of putting a cork in Deshaun – more on that in a Dynasty Offseason (DOBB) report releasing later today.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- The battle of the former Texas Tech QBs then rival Big 12 QBs…it didn’t live up to the hype.
Patrick Mahomes (21-30 for 255 yards, 1 TD/0 INT, 3-14-1) got hurt running the ball, again. Is it O-C Eric Bieniemy that keeps calling run plays for Patrick Mahomes so he gets at higher risk of getting hurt? Perhaps, that’s not helping his coaching case? It’s one thing for Mahomes to escape and run into wide open field and slide safely…it’s another to have the franchise QB playing with a nice lead and calling for/running a 1970s option-pitch play putting your QB at risk of exposure/clean hits (and that’s exactly what happened, and almost cost them the season).
Baker Mayfield (23-37 for 204 yards, 1 TD/1 INT) played well, but not ‘wow’…just good solid football. You need more if the Browns are going to another level. Baker made some clutch throws in this game, but I don’t see him just taking over games, ever. He just plays really solid football week in and out…’winning’ football.
It’s funny… Now, there will be no more ‘the Browns need to/are trading Baker’ talk – all because they made it to the AFC Final Four and almost beat KC. The media wants to destroy Baker (and most all QBs, because it’s sport to them…and QB is the only position they think they know) but getting this far in the playoffs holds them at bay from really attacking Baker again until September. They will now take their QB destroying energies and try and get Jared Goff eliminated from the NFL and get Deshaun Watson traded. Baker is safe, for now. Lose Week 1 in 2021…and then the wheel of negativity starts cranking again.
For my part, I still don’t see Baker playing with any of the flair he had in college. He is playing smart, sound football. But for Fantasy, I want the Mahomes gunslinger who can do whatever he wants in the passing game – that the passing game is front and center. We see little flashes of that with Baker, but not enough to get fully excited for Dynasty/Fantasy ahead…but ‘the leap’ in 2021 is not off the table.
-- Well, this game served at least one purpose – the Chiefs found out who their best RB on the roster is…Darrell Williams (13-78-0, 4-16-0/4). If you didn’t know the history of the players and only watched this game after being in a coma the past five years, and this was presented to you without sound/skew of TV analysts – you’d be like, wow KC found an answer to replace Jamaal Charles as their lead running back.
…you’d also be like… “Wait? Le’Veon Bell (2-6-0, 0-0-0/2) is the sucky backup for the Chiefs now? Someone tell me what happened to the Steelers in the last five years! Hopefully, they wouldn’t show James Conner highlights, or you might slip back into that coma.
Alas, you were likely not in a coma the past five years…so when reality becomes real, and volume of the TV analysts are turned back up – Clyde Edwards-Helaire (DNP) will be shoved back into the starting lineup ASAP but watch out for Williams to be a Jamaal Williams-esque drag on CEH for the next year or two. I would say that the NFL would never split a guy with the draft capital of CEH with a nobody (draft stock wise) like Darrell Williams, but we just had a season where Jacksonville traded an established starting, high draft pick RB in order to thrust a rookie UDFA RB into the spotlight and we also had Washington draft a failed college WR who looked good on some jet sweeps for half a senior season and he became their franchise running back as a rookie, starting Week 1.
I’m not sure there are any ‘rules’ anymore at running back…except paying good/great ones a ton of money is the stupidest thing you can do for your business.
Consider the 2020 season Final Four playoffs. The final games will be…
Devin Singletary vs. Darrell Williams
Aaron Jones vs. Ronald Jones
Ronald Jones was the highest drafted among these 4 names, pick #38 overall…and he was so bad as a rookie and into year two that he almost got cut so he added 20+ pounds to totally remake his career.
I’m pretty sure the running back matchups will not be the way networks advertise these upcoming games all week.
-- Two things I could not understand by the Browns…
1) Why was Denzel Ward not covering Tyreek Hill on the first drive, and every play of this game?
2) Why Kareem Hunt (6-32-1, 1-2-0/1) was held back from getting involved in the game for so long. He didn’t touch the ball until the 2nd-half, I believe. I’d think seeing if Hunt was ‘possessed’ by the thoughts of facing KC would be something you want to at least dip your toe in on ASAP to see what was what.
Hunt scored the only RB TD of the game…giving him 14 total TDs this season (+ playoffs) versus Chubb’s 13 total TDs.
The bad news for Chubb for FF: Dang it, Hunt is always lurking.
The good news/upside for Chubb: What if Hunt is ever out of the way and Chubb gets all the gold?
-- The player of the game for Cleveland: David Njoku (4-59-0/5) probably revitalized his career/made some good money in the offseason in his pending free agency. The narrative will be – He was supposed to be great but got undermined/lost in Cleveland’s constant offensive changes and is a hidden gem to pluck away.
Past scouting love will get Njoku, and Corey Davis (among others) deals they do not deserve. But that’s the NFL’s problem. For Dynasty/Fantasy…if Njoku lands/signs right his value will boost instantly for you to sell off or use as needed.
Landing spots? Seattle, Baltimore, NY Jets as early thoughts?
-- I want to end on this one thought that hit me watching this game…
You know how every NFL Draft season there’s a large segment of NFL analysts who bellyache and bitch about taking a Bosa or Chase Young or whatever ‘hot’ pass rush name over a QB/Kyler or Burrow, etc.?
Let me ask you analysts this question… Who was important to their team’s success this game, or will be in this lifetime – Myles Garrett (2 tackles, 1 sack) or Patrick Mahomes?
Garrett or Lamar? Garrett or Josh Allen? Garrett or signing Brady or Rodgers?
Nothing against Garrett, except he was supposed to be the end all be all pick but as we look back…the QBs were the better way to go by a mile – Mahomes, Watson from their same draft. QB is always more important than ‘great pass rusher’. Elite O-Lineman is also always better than ‘great pass rusher’.
Most of the ‘great pass rushers’ make 3-4-5 plays a game and leave devastating gaps to go through because they are trying to sack the QB or bust 10-20x or more a game.
I think in some instances, ‘elite pass rusher’ can be a liability – see Joey Bosa running so far out of the play he makes the defense play 10 v. 11 a lot. See also Jadeveon Clowney (who barely ever gets to the QB…and has made like $2M for every sack he’s had in the NFL). We get so enamored with sacks we lose sight of the other 99% of plays in a game where these rushers don’t get the sack and are no/little impact for the defense.
I never want to hear about how smart ‘taking the elite pass rusher’ #1 overall is again. It’s not the smartest move. When you go back and redraft any recent draft, the ‘elite pass rusher’ never goes #1 with hindsight. Nor #2. It’s a stupid premise we usually deal with every year…QB goes #1, analyst’s piss and moan so the edge rusher goes #2 and the world celebrates this great fortune for the team picking at #2. I don’t see Bosa (SF), Bosa (LAC), Young (WSH), Clowney (TEN), or Garrett (CLE) prepping to play a game this weekend.
As soon as Myles Garrett is leading a great force of a defense, and his team to titles…then we can talk. Four seasons in and his greatest highlight is hitting Mason Rudolph in the head with a loose helmet.
Snap Counts of Interest:
54 = Darr Williams
11 = Le’Veon
03 = Ant Sherman
33 = Chubb
33 = Hunt
40 = Hooper
30 = Njoku
13 = H Bryant
Our 2021 scouting previews of all the Senior Bowl invites/prospects is planned to begin Monday 1/18, as I publish a quick preview summary of each player through my 30 minutes or so of preview scouting each prospect (looking at outputs and couple games tapes) and I'll assign a preview grade and cap it off with a 'Mock Draft' of the top prospects from my previews.
During the 2021 Senior Bowl week I'll be sharing takeaways/reports all week from the practices and from the rumor mills behind-the-scenes...on the prospects and the NFL coaches and GM's press conferences, etc., capped off with a game analysis/report and then a re-do of the grading/ranking...adjusted for post-Senior Bowl week.
After the Senior Bowl, we follow the same process leading into the NFL Combine (whenever it is/assuming it is still on).
All the while, full scouting reports on prospects will continue to flow up to and through the NFL Draft, going into the summer and into the NFL preseason.
The Senior Bowl is the first leg of a very long race to understand these prospects and their capabilities up to NFL opening day 2021.
We'll be covering it on College Football Metrics.com all offseason/preseason. Hope you come along for the ride for NFL Draft prep and Dynasty Rookie Draft prep, among other strategic and handicapping ways to consider the information.
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